Kim Jong-il


This handout picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows the statues of former North Korean President Kim Il Sung (L) and late leader Kim Jong Il (R) riding on horses together after being unveiled at the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang on February 14, 2012

KCNA/AFP/Getty Images

Let’s face it, equestrian statues have since ancient times been an effective way for countries/governments/propaganda machines to honour their leaders and heroes (the earliest preserved equestrian statue is the Rampin Rider, found in the Acropolis).

So perhaps it is not surprising that North Korea decided to cast a larger-than-life bronze version of their late leader, Kim Jong-il, and his father Kim Il-sung, both gripping the reins of two rather spectacular ponies (the contrasting postures of the riders and their steeds are rather interesting – share your thoughts on any coded messages in the comments below).  Read more